Okehampton Golf Course
Weather & Course Conditions
Ideal day for playing golf, little wind, light cloud and bright, the course was in great condition as normal, must admit at this point this is a course I have played a number of times and I always enjoy playing here with it’s variation of holes some I love and some I dread but most of all I enjoy the undulating greens which make you think about the line when putting.
If it is your first time to this great course finding it may throw you, whichever direction you are coming from you need to travel into the town where there are a main set of traffic lights, turn at these (you will see the brown sign for the golf course) then in a few hundred yards turn right this will take you up a hill as you are just about to leave the built up area the club’s entrance is a drive on the right which can be easily missed it you are not aware, go down the drive for about quarter of a mile you will come to the clubhouse but be careful as the drive does cross in front of the 17th tee which is tucked back in the trees. There is a very well equipped pro shop with reasonable prices and in the bar they do a mean bacon roll, on the day I visited I had a carvery after my round and it was lovely. There are a couple of practice nets but they are the other side of the clubhouse from the first tee above the car park and there is a small putting area near to the first.
Hole 1 – Par 4 – 352yds
Well what a starting hole, with trees all down the left and a fairway that slopes left to right and knowing people in the clubhouse are watching there’s no pressure on you. If you hook your ball and it clears the trees you can end up on the 2nd green or fairway and if you slice it you could end up on the 17th or 18th fairway and even a good straight shot can roll all the way down to the bridle path that crosses a number holes on the course. A medium or short iron into the green that will hopefully leave you on or near the green which does have a few borrows to test your putting.
Hole 2 – Par 4 – 289yds
We now play in the opposite direction to the first on this short par 4, although a wide fairway anything left will be in trees or on the first fairway and if it does reach the 1st fairway it may well roll across to the far side of it, the fairway does go slightly right to left so a shot aimed up the right side should leave you in good stead for a pitch into large raised green which is on two levels but is one of the few greens that is relatively level.
Hole 3 – Par 4 – 316yds
Hopefully you will have loosened up by now as this tee shot is a little tricky, if you are a big hitter then a drive up the left along the tree line is the one for you leaving a short pitch to the green, for the rest of us it’s a shot up the left hand side of the fairway and hope it doesn’t roll off the fairway on the right side. The second shot is a bit blind as you will not be able to see the flag unless your at least 9ft tall, at the back of the large green is a large tree and I have found that aiming to the left side of that tree is the line as the green will take the ball to the right side where it dips down and on all my visits that is where the flag has been. If you end up in this dip then that’s a result as putting from anywhere else is a challenge on line and pace and sometimes if you miss the hole you can end up off the green.
Hole 4 – Par 3 – 171yds
Simple looking par 3 this one especially if you can hit straight and long, from the tee you cannot see the green only the top of the flag so getting on the green is good but even then 3 putts could still happen on this large undulating green.
Hole 5 – Par 4 – 369yds
Standing on the tee you will see Okehampton in the distance and if you look carefully you will see the castle ruins, this is the line to take but if you are like me the line you want and the line the ball takes can be two different things. On this hole as it is a blind tee shot they have a pole with a arm on that will be raised and then dropped when the group in front is clear for you to take your drive at least that is if they use it. There is big trouble if you go right and a chance of a lost ball but should you get a good drive down the fairway once over the brow the fairway drops down to a very interesting large green. Love this green I try to play just short of the green and let the ball roll onto it, it is a deceiving green as it is a lot higher at the back but from a distance you would not see it, another green that is going to test your line and pace.
Hole 6 – Par 4 – 386yds
Although this is a par 4 it will feel like a par 5. From the tee it is slightly uphill with the 5th fairway on your left and a large tree on the line you want, your second will once again be a blind shot to the large two tier green but two really good shots will leave you on or near the green and hopefully on the same level as the pin as there is quite a difference in height on this two tier green which will challenge you if your on the wrong one, a par on here is a good result but for me I’m happy with a 5.
Hole 7 – Par 3 – 133yds
Looks a easy par 3 but looks can be deceiving, if you get on the green from the tee then you should walk away with at least par but any wayward tee shot could cost you.
Hole 8 – Par 4 – 277yds
This is a short par 4 and when you walk from the 7th you will see steps for a spotter as it is a blind uphill tee shot so it is worth taking a look at the green from these steps before teeing off, the ideal line is up the right hand side of the fairway as it does fall off to the left, a long drive in the dry could leave you on or near the green. I like to play a chip shot right of the green for my second and let the ball roll onto the green. It is a small green but once on it is pretty level and even.
Hole 9 – Par 4 – 348yds
From the tee another uphill shot and hopefully you go between the large trees as anything left or right will cost you shots. A good tee shot will leave a straight shot to the green but don’t overshoot it is you will end up out of bounds. A large green which does have some subtle movement on it.
Hole 10 – Par 5 – 512yds
We start the back nine with the only par 5 on the course, a good drive from the tee is what you want as down the left are trees and bushes that will cause you problems and should you push it right onto the 6th fairway although the better of the two it will leave you probably having to go over the large trees or else the sensible option is a simple pitch back to the fairway. Your target is the large double green below you so a good second from the fairway may get you on or near it especially if it’s dry and the ball runs well, beware of landing the ball on the green, unless you can stop the ball it will run off the back into trouble, I normally play short and let the ball run onto it but being careful as the green slopes front to back and the ball can still run off the back.
Hole 11 - Par 4 – 402yds
This hole is stroke index 1 and when your on the tee you will see why, the fairway goes uphill and your ball will certainly roll from the left to right, anything going right from the tee is a lost cause and should you plan to play well left there is trouble there as well, big hitters can reach the top of the hill where it does level out. You will still be left with a long second shot to a green that is sunk into the ground and will not be visible but there is a marker pole behind the green to aim for although I have found aiming at the large tree to the left of the green a better line as the ball will then roll round and hopefully down onto the green. Putting on the green will be a breeze to getting there.
Hole 12 – Par 3 - 94yds
This for me is the signature hole for this course, from the tee you will look down at the green which is a short distance away but way below you, normally I would say club selection is important but in this instance just play the club your comfortable with, coming from up high the ball should stay on the green but just a little to much umph and you will see it disappear into the river and OOB. The green is large with a dip in it but otherwise is level.
Hole 13 – Par 4 – 278yds
Another par 4 which is reachable for some from the green, this is one tee shot I would advise to leave the driver in the bag unless you know you can hit it straight, anything going slightly right will most likely be lost or in a bad lie and anything left will be OOB or leave you blocked out for the green, I always take a 3 wood as I know I normally hit that one straight to leave a pitch of around 90yds to a large green that can get a little squelchy after a lot of rain.
Hole 14 – Par 3 – 171yds
A long par 3 which again requires a straight shot as OOB’s all down the left and possible trouble on the right, once on the large green which runs true and straight it’s just getting the pace that counts
Hole 15 – Par 3 – 128yds
OK I’ll say it now this is the only hole I dread here, if I get on it from the tee joy but if not blob. From the tee it is a short distance to the green above you, anything short, left or right is trouble, better to overshoot the green which is the large one shared with the 10th but even that can be easier said than done. Once on the green there is still a lot of movement of the ball so taking 3 putt’s can still happen. Dread this hole but the feeling to get on it from the tee can’t be described.
Hole 16 – Par 4 – 317yds
From the tee a narrow line between the trees/bushes to the dogleg left can cause problems if your not striking the ball well. The green is not visible but if you can draw the ball or go straight over the large tree on the left will leave you in a great position, for the rest be happy to get on the fairway at the dogleg. From here you will see your target in the distance a rectangular green that’s slightly raised but just in front of it is a bank which I’m sure many a ball has landed on. Two choices here for your second, go for the green or play just short of the bank and leave a pitch onto the green, I go for the latter and advise you do unless you are confident you can clear the bank and your striking well.
Hole 17 – Par 4 – 355yds
Now things get interesting as the 17th crosses the 18th fairway, walking from the 16th green you cross the driveway that you came down on your arrival to a tee set back among the trees. Standing on the tee you can just see the 17th green alongside the greenkeepers building, trees on the right side which help protect those on the 16th green are a no go area, if your not hitting straight then better to go left as there is plenty of room out there but be careful of players on the 18th. For your second should you have kept your ball in play leaves a straightforward approach to a smaller green, keep a eye out for people on the bridlepath that goes the length of this hole.
Hole 18 – Par 4 – 396yds
For me this feels like a par 5, from the tee a wide fairway awaits but should you go right the greenkeepers building awaits instead, I say this as many have sent balls in their direction which I have also done once with it landing on the corrugated roof making a hell of a racket which made the greenkeeper jump. From the fairway your second will once again cross the bridlepath and the 17th fairway upto the green by the clubhouse, at this point you know anyone in the clubhouse is watching, I know this because I’ve done it, so no pressure then to get a good strike. To get on the green in 3 is great leaving you to a couple of putts or less to finish off your round.